I often get asked how on earth I can keep travelling the world with big backpacks. The question is usually asked by those who haven’t travelled that much and so this post is for the benefit of you guys – to show you how easy it is to travel the world with a lot of luggage. First off all, although I class myself as a backpacker, it’s quite obvious that when walking round towns and cities and when hiking mountains, I only carry my smaller backpack. That’s because backpacking doesn’t mean you spend every day carting around 20 kilograms of baggage with you!! There are always places to leave and store your luggage, here are just a few tips for you today.
1. Hostels, Hotels, Guesthouses etc.
I’d say this is the most obvious place. Even after you have checked out of your dorm/room in a hostel, they will always store your bags for you. And almost always for free. If there is something of particular value like a laptop or a passport then personally tell the staff or owner this and they will find a safe or an even better place for you to store it. Hostels can also be used for longer term luggage storage, if you are returning to their hostel after some time away. I toured Bolivia a few years back whilst leaving my stuff in the Loki La Paz for a week, recently Masada Backpackers in Kota Kinabalu did the same for me. An easy and safe option.
Some airports and airlines will allow you to leave your bags there for a day or so. This is particularly helpful if you end up with a day stopover in a city and want to explore it. Leave your bags in the airport, get a bus into the city and tour it, then return for your connecting flight. Sometimes they charge for this though you may end up happy to pay it, as I have done on a few occasions.
3. Friends Houses and Flats
As a self confessed nomad for the last 10 years, I’ve never even had a set flat/house contract for the last 5 years of that. Luckily I have had friends willing to store a few things for me as I gallavant. I’ll always willingly do the same for any friends that want to leave stuff at my flat (if I ever own one!). Safe and easy option here.
4. Tour Agencies
If you book a tour with a tour agency, you’ve already paid them for a service so they always willng look after your stuff. Green Mango travel in Vietnam looked after my large bag last year as I hiked in Sapa and did Halong Bay.
Tokyo in Japan is one city that is safe enough to leave your stuff in lockers at train stations as you tour the city. Places like London also offer this but are less safe to do so. I rarely recommend this technique, but must admit it is an option.
There are a few more options you can look into (e.g. couchsurfing hosts and on ships – in Antarctica all my stuff was onboard the ship while we were out doing the sights – this is a given for such a trip though!). The most important thing I must stress is don’t leave ANYTHING valuable unless you trust that person and place 100%.
As you can probably tell I am LOVING this lifestyle of travel and hoping to inspire you all to get out and see the world! Check my advertising page if you have an idea for a product for my Tuesday’s Travel Essentials.